The Titanic – Socorro Connection

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One hundred years ago, in 1912, the passenger ship Titanic became an icon in history. To mark the centennial, a special program devoted to the Titanic will be presented by Penelope Boston and local historian Paul Harden.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures: AAUW and Socorro County Historical Society will present a special program on the Titanic, featuring guest speaker Penelope Boston. Her grandfather perished on the Titanic 100 years ago.

The free program will be held in the Alice Kase room at the Socorro Public Library Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m.

Guest speaker, Socorroan “Penny” Boston, has a very special connection to the Titanic. Her grandfather, William John Boston, was the assistant steward of the first class passenger deck, a prestigious position on the R.M.S. Titanic.

After leading many passengers to the safety of the lifeboats, the first class steward went down with the ship. Boston’s photographic slide show, “Titanic: A Personal Journey,” is a compelling personal story you won’t want to miss.

“I am pleased to be invited to introduce this special program,” Harden said. “Over 1,500 people went down with the Titanic. They weren’t just passengers. We often forget over 700 who perished were ship’s crew, diligently performing their duties until the very end. Boston has a unique story to tell.”

John Boston was one of those crewmen who perished, leaving Penny’s grandmother one of hundreds of “Titanic widows” to raise a family without a husband — and the hardships that followed.

Penny is an associate professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico Tech and founder and director of the Cave and Karst Studies Program. With a doctorate degree in microbiology, geology, and atmospheric chemistry, she has a global reputation for her research and discoveries.

Oddly, Hardin said, with her unique expertise with micro-organisms that can eat rocks and metal, Penny is one of the few scientists who understands the deep sea organisms that are slowly consuming the Titanic.

Her slide show will include photos of what the Titanic looks like today, and the “rusticles” that are dissolving the famous ship.

This special program is open to the public and sponsored by the AAUW and the Socorro County Historical Society. Refreshments will be served following the presentations.